Elli Rettinger is the 13-year-old daughter of Brenda and Perry Rettinger, and lives on a ranch near Amidon, ND. She will be turning 14 and entering the 8th grade at New England Public School in the fall of 2016.
Elli has been aboard a horse, ranching and rodeoing, since her pre-school years, and loves the western way of life. Her family runs cattle in the rugged badlands, and she has learned to appreciate the value of a good horse as she logs many long days in the saddle. Her valuable ranch horses are also her rodeo horses. She began competing in area youth rodeos and jackpots at the age of six, on her priceless horse, Bob. She is currently looking forward to her third year in the ND Junior High Rodeo Division and competes in six events on her two horses, Giz and Cash. She is especially proud of her barrel and pole horse, Giz, who is a sister to Bob. Giz was born on the ranch and still enjoys the pasture life with her 27-year-old mother! During the 2015-2016 season, Elli qualified for the NDJHRD State Finals in all six of her events, finishing in the top 12 in breakaway roping and goat tying.
When she isn’t horseback, Elli also competes in volleyball, basketball and track for the New England Tigers, and broke the school track record in the 200-meter dash as a 7th grader. While she enjoys being an all-around cowgirl and athlete, Elli also plays the French horn in the school band, sings in the high school choir, and is an Honor Roll student.
Elli was crowned the 2016-2017 NDJHRD Queen in May, and is looking forward to promoting rodeo and the western way of life during her reign. She is especially excited about encouraging other cowgirls to run for queen, where they can share their passion for rodeo with many groups of people. She treasures the many friends she’s made through rodeo, and thoroughly enjoys her extended rodeo family. Rodeo is a sport that teaches many life lessons, such as: compassion, responsibility and determination, along with work ethic and tenacity. The lessons learned in the arena will carry through into school, careers, and building strong community leaders.
Elli’s favorite quote is “If you quit once, it becomes a habit. Never quit.” – Michael Jordan
Elli is sincerely grateful for the generosity of the rodeo sponsors and the team of people who support the kids at each rodeo.